Passoni Year of the Dragon: modern Italian craftsmanship meets ancient Chinese art

Ultra-limited-edition bike celebrates the Chinese lunar calendar's most auspicious year in the Italian titanium specialist's unique style

This article was produced in association with Passoni

In the Chinese lunar calendar the dragon holds a special place of honour, symbolising power, strength, good fortune and success. To celebrate the Year of the Dragon, which coincides with 2024 in the Gregorian calendar, Passoni has created a unique and ultra-exclusive bicycle limited to just 24 pieces that is designed to perfectly embody the qualities of the mythical beast.

Passoni Year of the Dragon top tube detail

Based on Passoni’s Vinci frame, which was created for the Italian handmade titanium specialists’ 30th anniversary, the Year of the Dragon bicycle is decorated with a sinuous dragon design inspired by 19th-century Chinese artwork that winds around the frame from the fork to the seatstays and is hand-painted in signature gold by Passoni’s artisans at its atelier in Vimercate.

Passoni Year of the Dragon top tube

The contrasting background colour is a deep candy gloss red with a translucent finish so that Passoni’s industry-leading carbo-titanium weave – which includes titanium filaments within carbon-fibre – is visible through the paint of the top tube, seat tube, upper chainstays and fork, like a modern supercar.

Passoni Year of the Dragon front 3/4

The head tube, down tube and chainstays are made from grade 9 titanium manufactured by Reynolds in the UK to Passoni’s specific design, double and triple-butted, while the parts machined from solid pieces are in titanium grade 5, produced for Passoni by skilled workshops near the company’s factory.

Passoni Year of the Dragon seat tube badge

As with all of Passoni’s bikes, each one will be made to measure, and all include an engraved titanium badge on the seat tube depicting the head of the dragon, ‘Year of the Dragon’ written in Chinese characters, Passoni’s Vitruvian Man logo and the individual number of the 24 produced. Passoni points out that the bicycle in these photographs is a prototype.

Passsoni Year of the Dragon fork detail

The Passoni Year of the Dragon will be offered as a complete bike with Campagnolo’s Super Record WRL wireless groupset, Campagnolo Bora Ultra C23 wheels and Vittoria Corsa Pro tyres. A Deda Alanera bar, Deda EDG fork and the custom Selle Italia x Passoni saddle complete a sumptuous, all-Italian build.

Passoni manufactures and builds all of its bikes in Italy at its atelier in Vimercate, just outside Milan, and has developed a worldwide reputation for creating exceptional custom frames in carbon-fibre, steel and titanium, designed for those with a true appreciation of fine craftsmanship. Its frame builders draw on decades of experience to create a Passoni bike crafted for each rider, from enthusiasts to pro cyclists, from tradesmen to business leaders.

Passoni’s owner Matteo Cassina said: “The Vinci model that we used for the Year of the Dragon bicycle is already the perfect blend of titanium and carbon. Now adorning it with this beautiful and extraordinary design represents the perfect meeting of Italian craftsmanship with Chinese art. It is an instant icon.”

The Passoni Year of the Dragon complete bike is priced at €19,999 while the framekit is available at €12,999.

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